Linden Neighborhood Conversation

Melanie Crabill
Director of Media Relations
[email protected]

Kevin Kilbane
Director of Communications
[email protected]

News Date: February 07, 2019

City of Columbus Announces the Small Business Assessment Advisory Committee

Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and Council President Shannon Hardin launched the Reimagining Small Business Initiatives in December of 2018. After an open application process the City of Columbus has selected the members of the Small Business Assessment Advisory Committee, a component of the Reimagining Small Business Initiatives. 

The Reimagining Small Business Initiatives increases economic and neighborhood development. As part of this process, Mayor Ginther has commissioned a comprehensive assessment and study to understand and inform strategies, policies and budgetary requirements aimed at developing a robust city-sponsored small business support system.    

“The goal of the Small Business Assessment Advisory Committee is to ensure that the consultant team receives critical on-the-ground input that will become the basis for a small business implementation strategy that will define the City’s role in supporting entrepreneurship-based economic development,” said Mayor Ginther. “The Small Business Advisory Committee will help to inform and review the work of the consultant team with regards to current small business programs and conditions within the local, regional and national small business ecosystem including access to capital, and gaps and opportunities.”

“Columbus needs a clear agenda and strong support system for small and minority businesses in order to foster inclusive growth,” said Council President Hardin. “I’m grateful these community advocates and small business owners are providing their expertise to guide how the City of Columbus supports entrepreneurs at all levels.”

The Small Business Advisory Committee will also serve as champions for the Reimagining Small Business Initiatives helping to inform the broader community.

Committee members, chosen from 55 applications, are:
• Thalia Amador, Lastra, Ohio Small Business Development Centers
• Otto Beatty, Virtual Workplace & Staffing Ltd. OB3 Advisory & Management Ltd.
• Kristy Campbell, Rev1 Ventures
• Michael Childs, Midwest Savings
• Derek DeHart, Root Insurance
• Don DePerro, Columbus Chamber of Commerce
• Falon Donohue, Venture Ohio
• J. Averi Frost, Central Ohio African American Chamber of Commerce
• Anne Geggie, Finance Fund
• Sean Grant, Columbus 2020
• Gail Kelly, Former Owner of Two Men and a Truck
• Bob Leighty, Parsons Avenue Merchants Association
• Heather Marsh, MarshWagner
• Manuel Martinez, Ohio Dominican University
• Ramona Mills, Women's Business Center of Ohio
• Dr. Yasuyuki Motoyama, OSU - Assistant Professor City and Regional Planning
• Eddie Pauline, OSU - Technology and Commercialization
• Paul Reeder, OSU - Fisher College of Business
• Elton Smith, Smith Construction
• Michael Smithson, On Air Communications, Inc.
• Molly Tafrate, Social Ventures

The committee meeting schedule (locations to be determined):

• Wednesday March 13, 1 to 4 p.m. 

• Thursday April 18, 1 to 4 p.m. 

• Monday June 17, 1 to 4 p.m.